May 27, 2005 | By: Aimee Nielson

With school coming to an end and summer clearly in view, children will be spending more time outside and participating in fun activities. Along with that comes added risk for injury.

Every year the Fayette County Cooperative Extension office offers a Safety Day Camp for 8- to 10-year-olds to show them how to be safe in a variety of situations. This year’s event focused on fire hazards and ATV safety, and there was an added component about disabilities.

“We try to choose topics that most affect children in our area, and the two top ways children are injured in this area are fire and ATV accidents and we wanted to focus on those during Safety Day Camp,” said Kelley Yates, University of Kentucky Extension agent for 4-H youth development in Fayette County. “They are going to be more active in the summer and they will be doing more things with their parents. We want them to learn some things about safety so that when they go do any kind of activities they will be safe.”

Many students said their favorite part of the day camp was the mobile Lexington Fire and Rescue Safety House. Inside, children learned about fire hazards in the kitchen and also about fireplace and chimney precautions before a firefighter let in simulated smoke and asked the children to use the fire escape to exit the house.

New this year was a disability awareness component. Children were blindfolded and asked to try and complete a jigsaw puzzle. They also sat in a wheelchair and maneuvered it through a small obstacle course and made peanut butter sandwiches with one hand.

“We wanted the children to see what it was to be blind, deaf, missing an appendage or having to be in a wheelchair,” Yates said. “That way, maybe they will be more sensitive to others who face those issues and also realize that if they are not safe something like that could happen to them.”

Michaela Sturn, a fourth-grader who is home-schooled, said she realized “it’s hard for people with disabilities.”

Kentucky Farm Bureau and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture have partnered with Cooperative Extension for many years to offer safety demonstrations to people of all ages. KDA Safety Program Coordinator conducted his popular mock accident at the day camp. Children watched as rescue crews came in to help someone who had flipped an ATV. They were taught how important safety is when riding the vehicles. 

Carrie Johnson represented Fayette County Farm Bureau at the day camp.

“Farm Bureau tries to be out in the community as much as we can,” she said. “Community awareness and safety is a big thing and very important. Hopefully by coming to this event, children will think about what they are doing when they are outdoors this summer.”



Writer: Aimee Nielson 859-257-4736, ext. 267

Contact: Kelley Yates 859-257-5582